Though achieving true humility takes patience and understanding of God’s Word, it is essential for being a convincing witness for Christ in today’s arrogant society.
Humility isn’t thinking you’re not better than another individual. It has a much deeper root. And it is something God wants each of us to manifest in our daily lives.
It is evident that humility is the opposite of pride. Consequently, it means being content with your identity and acceptance in Christ as part of God’s gift. It is the ability to walk gratefully in God’s grace, love and forgiveness. It leads naturally to the wonderful gift of being able to spiritually build up others around you.
‘In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross’ (Philippians 2:5-8).
Perhaps you have met self-important individuals who have ‘stamped their status’ on their foreheads for everyone to see. They enjoy looking down on others who aren’t as successful.
They are proud of their high-ranking status within their job and eager to name-drop their list of connections to impress you. While such individuals may have worked hard to attain their positions, their attitude to their success is distorted. One can hold a powerful position and yet, at the same time, embrace the humility that is in Christ.
God is moulding each believer with unique talents and great worth through the Spirit of God. Though each of us is different, it is important to hold others in great respect. This sometimes means taking the time to make others realise their worth too.
‘Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen’ (Ephesians 4:29).
We should exemplify humility in word and deed. At times, this can be daunting. Perhaps a co-worker, close friend or family member has made disparaging remarks about you, and caused you stress and humiliation. Is there a secret panacea for dealing with such situations?
Our automatic response may be to lose control and verbally bash that individual, seeking vengeance for the wrong. One of the most difficult things for many of us, in a situation like that, is to exhibit self-control.
But self-control is a fruit of the indwelling Spirit. When we depend on God, he will help us navigate through the situation. Humility is not a sign of weakness; it is an indicator of true strength. ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger’ (Proverbs 15:1).
‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you’ (Ephesians 4:31-32). Undoubtedly, humility gets the respect that pride and selfishness seek, yet seldom obtain.
Godly humility is realising that all the talents and gifts in our lives originated in Christ. It wasn’t luck or fortuitous accident that promoted us; it was God who blessed us. So let the praise and recognition be given to the Lord!
Kasey M. Carter is author of the ‘Forever Altered, Yet Unbroken’ and ‘Faithful Crushers’ series